Loveskiing’s La Plagne Review
Although dismissed in the past as a failed experiment. La Plagne is on the way up. Its unusual design of 10 mini-villages had been ridiculed, but through recent re-investment the once ghost towns are now beginning to regain their buzz. With the new Vanoise express now linking Les Arc, it is one of the largest ski areas in the world with over 420 km of piste! La Plagne also offers huge opportunities of off-piste skiing with acres of space. However, for the snowboarders out there La Plagne has a lot of flat spots so beware you will have to do some walking. Off the slopes, the purpose built resort of La Plagne has a plentiful supply of bars and restaurants to keep every need satisfied.
Green Runs (Beginner): 8%
Blue Runs (Easy): 59%
Red Runs (Medium): 25%
Black Runs (Hard): 8%
Number of Lifts Lifts: 105
Total Piste: 225 km (420km when combined with Les Arc)
Resort Height Range Resort Height (m): 1800-2100m
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Have a look at the live webcam for La Plagne to see the latest conditions for yourself.
- Large ski area with all types of terrain – from wooded runs through the trees to wide open piste.
- Large variation in accommodation choice to suit everyone – over 10 villages to choose from.
- Good standard of mountain restaurants/bars – good atmosphere and clean.
- Bellecote offers challenging terrain to all those who love to indulge in off-piste skiing.
- The recent re-investment on modernising the mini-villages and ski lifts.
- Fantastic range of cross-country skiing and snow shoe walking tracks.
- Great for kids
- Links to other ski areas (Champagny and Les Arcs)
- Easy to get to – Regular bus service from the train station at the foot of the mountain, for those who wish to take the overnight train.
- Olympic bob-sleigh run is now open to the public.
- Plenty of snow parks, with La Plagne boasting three.
- Overcrowding during peak times.
- Progressively ageing lift system.
- The resort’s structure – by having 10 mini-villages a certain buzz is lost without there being a main hub, however Plagne Centre is improving every year.
- The flat pistes above Belle Plagne get tiresome for Snowboarders, who will get very bored of walking.
- As a result of the village structure, the nightlife certainly suffers. Only in the centre do bars stay open into the early hours.
- Freestyle skiers and boarders as there are plenty of snow parks.
- Those on a budget – very affordable accommodation in Champagny-en-Vanoise.
- Great for all levels of skier, including children.
- Excellent off-piste opportunities
- Snowboarders may find places too flat
- Night Owls
- Night skiing – the lifts shut at around 5 or 6 and there are few flood lit areas.
- Those after a resort that isn’t too expansive.
Sauna, Solarium, Squash, Fitness Centers, Library, Climbing Wall, Cinema, Bowling, Craft Courses
Heated Swimming Pool, Bob-Sleigh, Marked Walks, Tobogganing, Paragliding, Snowmobiles, Ice-Climbing, Ice Skating, Snow Quad Bikes, Paintball, Snow-Shoeing, Dog Sledding
ABOUT THE RESORT
La Plagne consists of 7 high altitude resorts, linked by free transport between 8am and midnight, enabling you to enjoy your holiday without a car.
- Aime-La-Plagne (2100m)
- Belle Plagne (2050m)
- Plagne Villages (2050m)
- Plagne Soleil (2050m)
- Plagne Bellecote (1950m)
- Plagne Centre (2000m)
- Plagne 1800 (1800m)
And 4 villages with direct access to the La Plagne ski area which can be cheaper alternatives.
- Champagny en Vanoise (1250m)
- Plagne Montalbert (1350m)
- Montchavin (1250m)
- Les Coches (1450m)
- Good for children, safe – no traffic in the square.
- Easy to access in and out of – mid way between Plagne centre and Belle Plagne.
- Breakfast buffet is very good.
- Can ski from the door of the hotel.
- Supermarket and some services within the hotel complex, however mountain prices can be expensive.
- One of the larger villages so has all the associated amenities including numerous bars and pubs, fresh produce shops and supermarkets.
- Most of the accommodation is piste-side or a short walk.
- Very Close to Plane Bellecote which is similar in size.
- Largely chalet based.
- Many of these, in particular the less expensive ones, are a trek to the piste, and can involve waiting for a bus for the ones which are further away.
- Few bars, but central to the resort so the buses come regularly enough making après ski possible.
- Tends to be cheaper accommodation then other villages.
- Price reflects the quality and nature of accommodation.
- Close to the main activities, services and main cable car.
- Very similar to Plagne Centre.
- Within walking distance to the Centre.
- Train link from Bourg St Maurice
- Train link from Moutiers
- Chambery Airport (EU only)
- Geneva Airport (EU and non-EU)
- Grenoble Airport
- Lyon Airport
All have regular bus services to La Plagne.
“Set high in the magnificent Savoie French Alps, La Plagne is one of the most famous and exciting high altitude ski areas in the world. Linked to Les Arcs by the Vanoise Express lift, the ‘Paradiski’ area offers 425kms of pistes. One of the first purpose-built resorts in France, La Plagne comprises ten ski centres, each virtually self-contained with shops, restaurants, ski schools and children’s village, with direct access onto the ski area. Each village is well-connected and gondolas and/or a bus service run between them.” – Crystal Ski
“The superb ski resort of La Plagne comprises ten purpose built ‘villages’ surrounding Plagne Centre including Plagne 1800 just below it, attractive car-free Belle Plagne and the highest village of Aime la Plagne, each boasting superb doorstep skiing. Furthermore the long awaited Vanoise Express cable-car links La Plagne with Les Arcs to form the vast Paradiski ski area – one of the largest ski areas in the world!” – Thomson Ski
Review written by Henry Miller for Loveskiing.co.uk